Fundraising manager Emma Tyler takes a look at the importance of Small Charity Week and why Childhood Eye Cancer Trust
(CHECT) is supporting it.

Getting involved
June 15 to 20 is Small Charity Week (SCW), a celebration of all the fantastic work being done by amazing organisations across the UK. Being one of those amazing small charities, we are delighted to have the opportunity to get involved with the week’s activities.

We have two lots in the SCW ebay auction, will be taking advantage of some of the free advice clinics on offer, maximising the media opportunities this event creates for small charities and supporting all the week’s activities.

Making an impact
Did you know that in the UK 97% of charities have an annual turnover of less than £1.5 million but in terms of impact on local communities here and across the globe their contribution is phenomenal. The Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI), the driving force behind this week’s celebration, recognised this fact but also recognised that small charities often failed due to lack of skills and understanding.

I see small charities as the cement in society, filling in the gaps left by larger organisations and ensuring no-one is neglected just because theirs is a niche need or the cause is not popular. Being small has great advantages as well. Every day the charity’s worth is reaffirmed through stories and anecdotes from our members.

Having such a close relationship means services always match need really well and, for me, makes coming to work inspirational. The services CHECT provides are also constantly confirmed by the amazing fundraising commitments our members take on to raise vital funds. These ensure we can continue to help their friends and family affected by retinoblastoma (Rb) and any other families who might be in the same situation in the future.

Fighting to be heard
One regular challenge for small charities is being heard. CHECT seems to have a pretty big voice, particularly when all our members join together. This is reflected by the tremendous success a couple of years ago when the signs of Rb were included in the Personal Child Health Record book (Red book) – read more here.

However, being heard in the third sector is difficult as it is a highly competitive and fast moving area. Keeping skills updated and ahead of new developments such as the quickly expanding world of digital marketing and fundraising, is difficult particularly when larger organisations have more resources to maximise these new opportunities. That is why the FSI and SCW is so important as it levels the playing field and gives all the remarkable small organisations a platform to shout about their amazing work and be heard. The ebay auction is a great example of this. On our own it would be difficult to draw significant attention to the amazing lots we have on offer but joining with other small charities to create one large auction gives us access to a much wider audience.